Whether you are a small boutique brand or a large, corporate business; you’ll know how important it is to have a strong logo and brand identity. Almost everything we print here at Icon Printing, relates to a brand or logo in some form or another. Maybe you’re thinking about a re-brand, or you could be a start up without the spare cash to splash out on a bespoke logo – this is a post for you. We’ve come up with a few pointers to follow when creating logos and specific design considerations to look at to insure your logo design reproduces well in all mediums; screen, print and signage.

Before you get stuck into the look or even the “naming” of your logo or business, there’s a few things to bare in mind. What does your company do? Are you local, national or global? Think about your target audience, who are they and what do they do? Are they high, mid or low earners? Who are your competitors and what are they doing? Next, think about where your logo will be displayed – it could be applied to business cards, but also vehicle livery, apparel, a website, etc.

icon printing how to design a logo

1. Research.

Do your homework! Do as much research as you can in the time available.Research the competition and similar companies. Look at their logos and websites. What kind of image do they project?

Look at details such as colour schemes, typefaces, images, symbols, etc.
Look at unrelated businesses that target a similar audience as yours. What is their visual attraction?


2. Inspiration.

Where do logo designers get their inspiration? Everywhere!

Look around you where ever you go. Look for details in everything.
Peruse books, websites, blogs and magazines on any subject.
Look at the visual arts and graphic design.
Take an interest in all things and be inspired!
3. Brainstorming and sketching ideas…

Write down as many words associated with the business as you can.

What images / symbols come to mind?
Which colour schemes would work well and which should you avoid?
Look at the letters which make up the logo name; can something be created from the letter shapes?
Can you make use of the negative space in or between characters?
Some logo designers may prefer to get started on the computer at this stage, but some will sketch out logo concepts with pencil and paper first. This is a very quick way to see if an idea has mileage. Then pick out the best of these designs to be worked up on the computer. In order to produce a polished logo, a vector based drawing package is required so the logo can be scaled to any size without loss of quality. Adobe Illustrator is the most popular logo design software

4. Design considerations.

Here is a list of possible things to consider when designing a logo.

Less is more, so keep it simple!
Readability and legibility at all sizes and in all intended mediums.
Does the logo need to work in one colour? For embossing, newsprint, yellow pages, etc.
Care should be taken when the logo is to appear on a website, because detail can be lost (due to the size of pixels), especially with fine fonts with serifs. Details which look fine when printed, may be lost on screen.
Keep the number of colours to a minimum, generally speaking, no more than three. One or two will be more economical when printing stationery if you use Pantone inks.
Choose Pantone Matching System (PMS) spot colour inks which have a good CMYK match, and also represent well on screen. Consult a PANTONE colour swatch book, if you have access to one, rather than rely on your computer screen.
Do not use a ‘rich’ black in your logo; use 100% K (black) instead, to avoid misregistration when printed commercially.
Kerning – the space between letters in a word. Take the time to look at and adjust the optical spacing between each letter. When printed small it is not so noticeable, but when a logo is printed large on signs and vehicle livery, poor kerning will stand out like a sore thumb.
Effects: transparency effects, blend modes, drop shadows, gradients, 3D effects, etc. These effects are not suited to all mediums. You need to know all of the intended uses of a logo before using any of these.
5. Presentation and final adjustments.

Once you have worked up your design ideas on the computer…

Print them out at different sizes on a desktop printer to check legibility.
Check to see if the logos look good at various sizes on screen.
Place them next to competitors’ logos and compare.
Show the designs to friends or colleagues and note any comments.

If you require any artwork files or logos to be vectorised prior to printing we offer an artworking service. For more information on custom tshirt printing don’t hesitate to get in touch, at: or 0207 183 8431.